Plumbing course

14 Jul 2005
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United Kingdom
Good Afternoon chums :D

I appreciate this question must have been asked on here before but I’m trying to help my brother out and any feed back from the Pros would be very much appreciated.

My brother 35 works full time, (office related stuff - boring he tells me) stuck in the same job for over 7 years now and is unhappy and feels it's his destiny to go for a Career change. Preferably one that's a bit more practical.
He's very interested in plumbing - Ideally he would love to be taken on and give it 100% for someone to train him up from scratch! We all know this is not going to happen unless we are straight from the farmhouse of school leavers. I advised him to have a look at a plumbing course (MET - UK) apparently one of the best but very expensive. Ideally the Gas engineering course, one that is 6 months full on.

The problem and worry he faces is that if he goes on one of these courses he will first have to pack his job in and find £5000 for the course and then 6 months wage from somewhere to finance himself over the duration.
This could all be done by a bank load but what if....... What if after completing the course and then he can't even get into a job because no one out there wants a red ass with no experience (See what I mean?)

Any way that's why I thought I’d come in here and maybe get a few pointers or faith for him that i can reassure him to go for this big move.

These are the qualifications below after completing the course.

Level 2 and 3Note: See Course Diary for dates and availability
Level 2 Qualifications Achieved

City and Guilds (6132) Certificate in Domestic Natural Gas: Installation and Maintenance
- Work safely on gas central heating and pipe work systems
- Install gas central heating and pipe work systems
- Commission and decommission gas central heating and pipe work systems
- Service and maintain gas central heating and pipe work systems
- Commission, decommission and service gas fires
- Work safely on domestic gas cooking appliances

Level 3 Qualifications Achieved

ACS Assessments:

Core Gas Safety (CCN1) plus a choice of up to three appliances from the following:
Central Heating (CEN1),
Water Heaters (WAT1),
Gas Fires (HTR1),
Cookers (CKR1),
Ducted Warm Air (DAH1),
Meters (MET1),
Leisure (LEI1).
Energy Efficency:

BPEC (Level 3) Part L - Energy Efficency

Thanks a bunch for any advise.
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the chances are high that even after completing the above due to lack of practical experiance.

Its practical experiance that employers are looking for over paper qualifications

I would strongly suggest that your bro does some serious navel gazing before he takes the plunge.

For example how much money would he expect to earn?

what hour does he want to work?

Are there the jobs available?

After many years as a plumber I can honestly say that the money has never been as good as it should have been, the hours have always been too long and lofts have always been too small

Thanks for responding.

For example how much money would he expect to earn?

I don't think he expects to be bringing that much money home for a few years. He is only on around 18k at the moment so i can't really see any problems there.

what hour does he want to work?
he is working 40 hours per week Mon to Fri but that's the companies hours. He is always moaning because there is no overtime at the weekends.

Are there the jobs available?
Well this is the question - I think as a qualified Gas engineer Corgi reg
you would think that there must be jobs out there - someone must be willing to take on fresh eggs. I can understand why he is in two minds but this would be a great new Career for him.
Our company often takes on newbies with their ACS but they are raraley able to lock horns with breakdowns,services or installs for a considerable time because the ACS doesnt give them any real useful experiance.

Usually they come on to us as trainees for about 6 months or so, three months next to an experiance chap and three months on a drastically reduced workload and never more than ten minutes away from a mentor.

Some companies see them ACS's and BANG the chap is out and about with very little (if any) support and wonder why mistakes happen and the chap burns out really kwikly.

horses for courses i suppose.

Personally I really wouldnt recommend plumbing as a job and if I could I would pack it in tomorrow.

but thats just me

I owe I owe so off to work I go

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Tell him not to consider doing this course unless he lines himself up with a work placement first.
Hi Tabs,

The MET-UK course guarantees a work placement after the course.
you can decide how many days a week to work beside a prof. I suppose the more eager you are to learn the better you benefit in the long run.

According to the reviews on MET-UK some even get set-on from the placements that they are temprary doing.

Do you think 6 months experiance is enough to be placed in the field - obviously under someone's wing.

He will be incredibly lucky to find any firm that nurtures him. More like they'll throw him to the wolves and see if he dances ;)
I agree with cm and would add 3 things.

5 grand for the course seems ridiculously high.

Exercise the navel gazing for a while along the lines off:
I am the director of a company and here comes a bloke in his thirties who spend his life behind a desk, just got his plumbing diploma but zero experience, what would I offer him? I got my company to run, my family to feed, my overheads to pay, my tax and N.I. to contribute, pay him when he takes a sicky and a holiday, and in the first year I will be lucky is he effective on his own for half the hours I have to pay him for.

If he has been in one job for 7 years despite the fact he doesn’t like it, I don’t think he is going to make it in this field.
MET - UK ring me regularly to see if I want to take a trainee to work for me for 'free'. I always say no, and have even started wondering why I should give a trainee their final 6 months training for nothing! After all, they charge people £5k for 6 months training!. All the sole traders round here are the same. I would basicly have to stop work to watch everything the trainee did, which is going to make me even slower than I am already!
From my point of view, that won't help me pay the bills, which, at the end of the day is why I work in the first place.
I would love to do it out of the goodness of my heart, but can't afford to.

I enjoy this job (most of the time), and this is my second stint at it, after being sweet talked onto the staff side for 6 years. But I had tremendous financial layout to start up again, with ACS, new tools, van, top-up training, Corgi, insurance and all the rest of it. For a mature, new entrant to have even more costs to get into this job, well I really cant see the point in it. - I would only consider it if sponsored by a company with a guaranteed job offer after training, and we all know that that type of offer does not happen anymore.
I love flying, and at 38 years of age inquired about getting a commercial license. - Only way in at that age was to self-fund a years training at around £60k, with no job guarantees even if you passed everything you needed. So, unless a rich relative pegged out and left me the cash, that was also a non starter.

So I think the poor chap will struggle, and certainly, by the amount of calls I get from local Gas Colleges, and their 'graduates', looking for work, there seems to already be a large amount that have already completed their training that can't get set on with a firm.
Maybe easier to start as a plumber, try get a reputation as a good worker, and with a bit of experience get taken on as alevel 2 ACS applicant. At least you would be working then, and would need less time in college to make the jump over to a gas career.
I had a word and found out that our company get many many calls to provide on the job training for many training providers in our area up untill recently

their selling point was that we could "pick and choose" the best candidates!

My guv said he would be happy to take as many as they could offer, they got really excited untill he said "for a minimal charge of £500 per day"

I dont think many of them called back.

greedy sods

Didn't think i would get any postive feedback - I've just read a few old posts regarding the same subject - seems that all Plumers have got it in for the high number of newcomers to the game. Can't blame ya like but it's a big wide world we live in and there is plenty of work out there if you keep digging.

Thanks for all your effort in writing on here.
Evening all,

I completed a plumbing course at Met UK just before christmas. I took out a Career Development Loan from barclays which gave me 8K with no repayments for 13 months and only 9.5k toal repayable.

I was also in a crappy job and had been for several years. I'm 27 and now working for a very reputable firm in Sheffield after putting the time in to make an effort and talk to firms personally.

I started work the week after I compleated the course! It took aot of time to get the job, however, I put the time in and studied hard, read extra info during and took big breaths everytime some plumbers toldme I would be usless afterwards!

If he is prepared to put in the time and effort, sacrifice weekends for upaid experience he can do it! The guys I work with are surprised with how much I know. Much of Mets course is hands on in purpose built units and the Tutors are very good.

Last thing...... Every plumber out there had to start "Red Arsed" somewhere!! ;)

Hi JJ. just adding a bit of personal experience for ya. I jumped ship and went to met UK blinded by the headline - "Become a Corgi Registered engineer in 6 months"

Dont believe this trash - on my course I was the first to qualify for registration and it took me a FULL year to acheive it !
Theres no guarantees regarding placement. I had to find my own in the end as they didnt have any contacts in Leeds. Having said that I did my course a few years ago now so they may have improved.

As said before experience counts more that the bits of paper so a good placement is the most essential part of the course. The most essential part of the placement is to show a good attitude and do anything to get on.
I personally found the only way to get a job afterwards is from your placement or to go alone. Going alone is SOOO HARD ! but it can be worthwhile if you are prepared to suffer hardship, poverty and heartache as I have found to my cost. Having said all that I'm glad that I did it, but knowing now I dont know if I would do it again !

If you want any further info or help just shout !
Evening all,

I completed a plumbing course at Met UK just before christmas. I took out a Career Development Loan from barclays which gave me 8K with no repayments for 13 months and only 9.5k toal repayable.


so £9500 divided by £600 a day changing boilers =16 jobs as a Corgi :LOL: :LOL: :LOL: you should pay the bank back in 6 months ....Forget bathrooms, drains, roofing,commercial pipework guttering, sitework.....just be a Domesticated Corgi:cool:
Evening all,

I completed a plumbing course at Met UK just before christmas. I took out a Career Development Loan from barclays which gave me 8K with no repayments for 13 months and only 9.5k toal repayable.


so £9500 divided by £600 a day changing boilers =16 jobs as a Corgi :LOL: :LOL: :LOL: you should pay the bank back in 6 months ....Forget bathrooms, drains, roofing,commercial pipework guttering, sitework.....just be a Domesticated Corgi:cool:

£600 a day changing boilers

If only.........

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